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About Indian Tiger

Introduction

indian tigerThe Indian tiger has perhaps attracted more vivid portrayals than any other species. If looked in the socio religious context, this isn’t surprising at all. While the tiger has been traditionally associated with the Indian Goddesses Durga, today it has also become a symbol of national pride. Efforts for its conversation have been quite remarkable. In India, you can catch more than a glimpse of the Indian tiger


The tiger Land

Historically, tigers lived in all the regions of India, from the snow – covered Himalayas at elevations of 10,000 feet, to the forests of south India. Tigers may inhabit high mountain terrain, dry tropical forests, humid evergreen forests and mangrove swamps, humid evergreen forests and mangrove swamps.

An adult tiger defends a large area from all other tiger of same sex. The primary resource of this territory is food. A female’s territory must contain enough prey to support herself and her cubs. A male’s territory, additionally, must offer access to females with which to mate. Thus, a male’s territory overlaps with that of one to seven females. Male territories are always large than those of females. Male territory size varies enormously and is directly related to the abundance of prey-rich habitats defend quite small territories and female territories average just eight square miles.

The Tiger Family

Except for a mother and her cubs, tiger live and hunt alone. But that does not mean they are not social. Scent marks and visual signposts (scratch marks) allow tigers to track other tigers in the area and even identify individuals. A female’s tiger knows the other females of nearby territories and in many cases; a neighbour may be her daughter. Females know their overlapping males take over. All tigers can identify passing strangers. So, while solitary tigers actually have a rich social life, they just prefer to socialize from a distance.

tiger familyTiger breed between the months of February till May, just after the winter season. After breeding, 15-16 weeks will pass by before their cubs are born. Female tigers called tigress seeks out a safe place and prepares for her litter. Male tigers stay with a female for only a short time after their cubs are born. For many days, immediately after birth of cubs, mother remains with cubs and it is not easy to see them. During such time, Forest Department closed those areas for safari activities so that family will remain their without any disturbance. Special patrolling was implemented in such areas to updates were noted. Many times, it has been noted that if mother felt any kind of danger to cubs, she changes the area and shifted the cubs from one place to another. Other male tigers are main danger for life of cubs. When other males finds any such family, results are often disasterous that male tiger often kills cubs while mother tries to protect their lives.In such conflicts, many times mother gets severely injured. It is nature, we can't stop this.

When tiger cubs are sixth moth old, they are ready to join their parents on hunts. They stay with their mothers until age two years. Sometimes it has been seen that some cubs remains with mother, for some more time. Male cubs often leaves first to their family while females often leaves later. After that they are to live on their own Tigers may live for as long as 20 years. Leaving mother and surviving on own is the curcial time in life of a tiger. Many young tigers gets killed in this period, either in man-animal conflict or in conflict with other powerful male tigers.

Highly Territorial

Tiger is a highly territorial animal. After separation from family, every tiger or tigress have to create their territory. It is a major test of their survival skills. In making of terriroty, conflicts occurs and such conflicts often result into death of one contender. For a young tiger, it is not easy to fight and win territory of existing male tiger so he spends some years in outskirt area of forest and targets mainly easy preys like cattles of villagers. Here chances of man-animal conflicts are high. Here they may have to compete with those ageing tigers which are pushed out of their territory. Till 5 years of age, tiger spend their life in similar manner and after gaining adulthood, they try thier luck, intrude into existing territories to push out existing territory owner and make space for themselves. Tigers decides their territory as per preybase, water sources, presence of female tigress etc. All tigers does the patrolling in this territory and marks their territory by spray. It is thier routine practice. This spray mark is an indication for outsiders, not to intrude into this territory as owned by others. New tigers, often takes risk and intrude into others territory and leaves their mark as process to claim their presence. This is challenging indication for existing territory owner and one day it is decided with conflict. Their could be several rounds of conflict if both the parties are strong & powerful and strongest will win. Even after losing the battle, it may be possible that losing tiger will try again, after sometime with hope to win this time. Receiving injury marks often result into death of one contenter. Sometime, even after death of one tiger, winner tiger consumed the body of dead tiger called "cannibalism among tigers". In Kanha national park, many such incident reported in year 2018-19. Thus we often says that life of a tiger is not so easy. Throughout the life, they struggles for survival.

Call for the Prey

Tigers prey primarily on wild boar and other swine and medium to large deers such as Chital or Spotted Deer, Sambar, Blue bulls, Barasingha, Four horned antelope. When hunting together, tigers also hunt Indian Gaur, nearby village cattles etc.

The tiger hunts alone, primarily between dusk and dawn, traveling 6 to 20 miles in a night in search of prey. A typical predatory sequence includes a slow, silent stalk until the tiger is 30 to 35 feet from the selected prey, followed by a lightening fast rush to close the gap. The tiger then grabs the animal in its forepaws, a bite on the neck or throat. After dragging the carcass to a secluded spot, the tiger eats. A tiger eats 33 to 40 pounds of meat on an average night and must kill about once every week. Catching a meal is not easy, a tiger is successful only once in 10 to 20 hunts.

Death of Tigers

Life of tigers varies, as per thier circumstances, physical fitness, availability of prey, hunting capability. Normally, tigers attain their adulthood at age of 5, dominate the territory till age of 10 to 12, as per fitness and after 12 they are mostly pushed out from their territory by other young & strong contender. Mostly dominant tigers were seen in core zones areas and weak tiger or ageing tigers were seen in buffer zones. Ageing tigers spend rest of their life in buffer areas on hunting easy preys. Later when their capabilities reduces they start killing village cattles as soft targets and often killed by villagers, through poisoning or electocution etc. If they failed to arrange meals for them, they will die due to starvation. Many times, on noticing such condition of tiger, forest department shifts them to enslosures. Recently, ageing Munna tiger was also shifted to Van Vihar national park of Bhopa, due to same reason. It was onetime dominant tiger of Kanha national park but later found responsible for killing human being and this to avoid further conflict with villager, he was shifted to enclosure for rest of his life. Tigers usually died in forest till 15 to 17 years but some exceptions are also their like Machli tigress of Ranthambore, Munna tiger of Kanha national park. Shifting them to enclosure, somehow increases their life by some months to years.

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